My favorite homemade very vanilla cupcake recipe. Ditch that boxed mix, these are 1000% better!
What a week it has been! Yesterday was a bittersweet day for me—my last day at my office job. My job in the corporate financial world has been a part of my life for 4 years. Without the experience learned in my career, I would not be where I am today with my website. I am so thankful for my time there!
A new chapter is about to unfold and you may be seeing a lot more of me. I am a full time website publisher, cookbook author, photographer, and sprinkle lover.
Today I’m bringing you something simple. No frills, nothing fancy, just pure tasting goodness. Don’t get me wrong, I love an overloaded cookie more than anything. But sometimes you just need to keep things simple.
After I shared my Easy Homemade Funfetti Cupcake recipe with you, I had many readers write to me and ask for a plain vanilla cupcake recipe. How do I not have one of those on my website? Challenge accepted!
I took the funfetti cupcake recipe, tossed the egg yolk, added in an extra egg white, used vanilla yogurt, and loaded the batter with fresh vanilla bean. I topped the pretty white cupcakes with extreme vanilla frosting, which is also loaded with fresh vanilla bean. Look at all the pretty vanilla bean specks!
I bought a jar of vanilla beans at Whole Foods for only $6. The are sold in the spice aisle of most major grocery stores. You can also buy them online. 3 large vanilla beans came in the bottle and today’s recipe will only use one. Their fragrance is unparalleled by anything (pure or imitation) vanilla extract will give you.
Wait until you smell these cupcakes baking in your kitchen…
Today’s cupcakes come from a very simple batter that can be mixed by hand. Yes, there is no mixer required for the cupcakes! There are 4 ways I included vanilla flavor today: vanilla beans, vanilla extract, vanilla yogurt, and vanilla almond milk. Don’t worry, the only two very important ones are the vanilla extract and vanilla beans. Feel free to use regular yogurt and milk if you need to.
They’re sweetened with granulated sugar, left moist and soft from butter and yogurt, and their color remains impeccably white from using 2 egg whites. The presence of an egg yolk made these cupcakes a bit too yellow, so I subbed an egg white the second time I made these today. The yogurt I used is fat free vanilla flavored greek yogurt. Even though there is only 1/4 cup of yogurt in the batter, I still feel good knowing I’m getting a teeny tiny protein punch from its addition. That makes these “healthy”… right? Of course.
Like I mentioned above, I added vanilla extract to the batter as well as pure vanilla bean. I simply scraped the seeds from 1/2 of a vanilla bean into the batter. In order to scrape the seeds of a vanilla bean, simply cut it down the middle length wise and use a knife to scrape out all of the black seeds, aka the intense vanilla flavor specks.
After the cupcakes cool, make your frosting. The frosting I used is my very favorite fluffy vanilla frosting. I recently swirled this frosting on top of homemade lemon cupcakes. If you are a fan of lemon, you don’t want to miss those! I made the fluffy vanilla frosting again today and added fresh vanilla bean as I mixed the frosting ingredients together. Yes, I am now in love with vanilla bean seeds.
Pure, unadulterated very vanilla flavor. Nothing more, nothing less. If you are a vanilla fan, you are going to love these. If you are a chocolate fan, you are still going to love these. If you have any sort of tastebuds whatsoever, you are going to love these.
Love cupcakes? Add these to your baking list: chocolate cupcakes, ultimate birthday cupcakes, soft & fluffy funfetti cupcakes, pistachio cupcakes, party piñata cupcakes, mocha nutella cupcakes, peanut butter & jelly cupcakes, ultimate Snickers cupcakes, strawberry cupcakes, and red velvet cupcakes.Print
Very Vanilla Cupcakes
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 3 hours
- Yield: 12 cupcakes
- Category: Cupcakes
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
My favorite homemade vanilla cupcake recipe. Ditch that boxed mix– these taste way better!
- 1 and 2/3 cup (209g) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/4 cup (60g) vanilla Greek yogurt*
- 3/4 cup (180ml) vanilla almond milk*
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- seeds scraped from 1/2 split vanilla bean*
Vanilla Bean Frosting
- 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 4–5 cups (480-600g) confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream*
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- seeds scraped from 1/2 split vanilla bean*
- salt, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt butter in the microwave. Whisk in sugar – mixture will be gritty. Whisk in egg whites, yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract until combined. Split 1 vanilla bean down the middle lengthwise. Scrape seeds from half of the vanilla bean into batter. Reserve other half.
- Slowly mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until no lumps remain. Batter will be thick.
- Divide batter among 12 cupcake liners and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool.
- To make the frosting, beat softened butter on medium speed with an electric or stand mixer. Beat for about 3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Add confectioners’ sugar, cream, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean seeds with the mixer running. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Add more powdered sugar if frosting is too thin or more cream if mixture is too thick. Add salt if frosting is too sweet (1/4 teaspoon). Frost cooled cupcakes (I used Wilton 1M piping tip). There may be leftover frosting depending how much you use on each cupcake.
- Store cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days and in the refrigerator up to 7 days.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): 12-Cup Muffin Pan | Cupcake Liners | Glass Mixing Bowl | Whisk | Cooling Rack | Electric Mixer (Handheld or Stand) | Cupcake Carrier (for storage) | Vanilla Beans
- Yogurt: You can also use plain Greek yogurt, regular yogurt, or sour cream.
- Milk: You can also use regular milk, soy milk, or plain almond milk.
- Vanilla Beans: If you can’t get your hands on vanilla beans, add an extra 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract instead.
- Frosting: Strongly urged to use heavy cream. You may use milk or half-and-half, but heavy cream will give the frosting a thicker texture. I recommend it!
- Mini Cupcakes: For about 24 mini cupcakes, bake for 8-9 minutes at 350°F (177°C) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Vanilla Cake: Simply bake in a 9-inch cake pan (I recommend a springform pan because this will be a taller cake) and bake for 30-34 minutes. Or try my white layer cake for a double layer cake.
- Be sure to check out my 10 tips for baking the BEST cupcakes before you begin!
Keywords: homemade vanilla cupcakes, vanilla cupcakes
Reader Comments & Reviews
As always, another fantastic recipe! I have started substituting gluten free four in your recipes, and they still turn out perfectly! Also, I don’t know what happened, but this is the second time I made mini cupcakes with this recipe and it yielded 48 minis, not 24 (but no complaints here lol)!
I loved your chocolate cupcake recipe and can’t wait to try this one out. If I don’t have yogurt or sour cream , can I use buttermilk instead?
Hi Quynh, You can replace both the milk AND sour cream/yogurt with buttermilk in this recipe (1 cup total).
Thank you for all the amazing recipes. I adore your work, the sugar cookies and cake pops are abs faves and I keep coming back to them!!!. However, this is the first time I try this recipe. I want to make these tonight to serve on Sunday afternoon. I know that you say that they keep for 3 days…could you please clarify whether you store them frosted or not? Thanks
Hi Rimaz! Cupcakes can be made ahead 1 day in advance, covered (unfrosted), and stored at room temperature. Frosted or unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Step 6 instructions refer to leftover cupcakes. Here’s more tips for make-ahead baking!
This recipe was so easy and the cupcakes came out very delicious!
Ummmm THESE ARE SO GOOD
I need to triple this recipe. Would you suggest 3 separate batches or do you think it’s safe to triple ?
Also how long would you say unfrosted cupcakes keep in the fridge? Thanks in advance for the help.
Hi Marea! We recommend three separate batches. Cupcakes will dry out in the fridge, but they keep well in the freezer! Just wrap/seal them well and freeze for up to three months.
I love these as cupcakes, and they are my go to for vanilla cupcakes. I am wondering if I can use the same recipe for a two layer cake? Or would I have to chance the quantities? Thanks!
Hi Tami, for a two layer cake, we recommend following this cake recipe instead. Enjoy!
This was a fantastic cupcake… and SUPER MOIST! When I make again I will add a more salt… I also marbleized it for Valentine’s and it was perfect!
Merry Christmas to you, your family and your staff! I am fan of you and your web- site thank you.
I am anxious to make these cupcakes! But first I have a question.
Why AP Flour? Did you test them with Cake Flour? Can I make this recipe with Cake Flour?
Hi Chef Tom, Thank you and happy holidays to you as well! Cake flour would be just fine – we use it often for these cupcakes without changing anything else about the recipe.
My kiddo is allergic to eggs. I made these with egg substitutes as mini rainbow cupcakes with strawberry buttercream. They turned out fabulous! They rose beautifully and were light and fluffy. You wouldn’t know they were egg-free. Thank you so much!
Hi Amanda! I don’t know if you’ll see this but my grandson also has an egg allergy. I am wondering what egg substitute you used? Thanks!
I adore this recipe! I’m making quite a few for a friend’s party and am worried about them drying out as I decorate. Do you ever brush your cupcakes with simple syrup? If so, how much per cupcake?
Hi Kelly, we don’t typically use simple syrup on cupcakes, but you certainly can if you’d like. They shouldn’t dry out as you decorate, so we’d recommend just a light brush of syrup if you do decide to use it. Thanks for using this recipe!
Hi! Can I substitute the butter for oil?
Hi Ruslene, you can give it a try, but the cupcakes will lose a lot of their taste and texture. For best results, we recommend sticking with the melted butter here.
Simply the best vanilla cupcake!
Could you substitute gluten free flour in this recipe?
Hi Rachel, we haven’t tested a gluten-free version of this recipe ourselves, but let us know if you do give it a try!
I have a question! can I substitute Vanilla Bean Paste instead of the seeds? and how much would I use?
Hi Courtney, sure! We would do about 1/2 – 1 teaspoon.
Courtney – just a note from one home baker to another… I started using Vanilla Bean Paste years ago when it became almost impossible to find GOOD vanilla beans at a decent price… It works like a charm! 🙂
Thanks Sally – great recipe! I like the consistency of the cake. Moist and a little more body than some other cupcake recipes. Frosting flavor has a nice vanilla taste without being overly sweet. Definitely will bake it again!